Things That Matter

Guess What? Latinos Are Often Guilty Of Perpetuating White Supremacy And We Don’t Even Notice It

This past weekend, Americans watched in shock as “alt-right” members, neo-Nazis and white nationalists descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia, attempting to spread their message of hate and intolerance. Clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters were numerous. One counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was killed when a man rammed his car into several counter-protesters. The man, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., was later charged with second-degree murder. Earlier that day, he was photographed displaying the symbols of a white nationalist group called Vanguard America, which later denied he was a member.

That weekend journalist Shaun King posted a video of several men beating a 20-year-old man named Deandre Harris. King, who was attempting to confirm the identities of the men behind the beating, found that one of the men, Alex Michael Ramos, identifies as Latino. A group called the Atlanta Antifascists then tweeted that Ramos was affiliated with the Atlanta chapter of the far-right organization Proud Boys and the far-right militia called the Georgia Security Force.

In a Facebook live video that has since been deleted, Ramos claimed he wasn’t racist because he was Puerto Rican.

Credit: Anthony Michael Ramos / Facebook

When a viewer asked why he marched with racists, Ramos said, “I stood by racist people but they weren’t racist to me.” Ramos’ assertion that his Puerto Rican roots meant he couldn’t be racist is a prime example of Latinos who are completely ignorant of their ability to perpetuate white supremacy.

Guess what? Latinos, both here and in Latin America, do and say plenty of things that promote anti-blackness — and most of the time we don’t even blink an eye when it happens. When it comes to discussing racism, we often subscribe to the black vs. white binary that we often see in the United States. If our views aren’t extreme, if we’re not a “full-blown racist,” then we’re completely absolved of perpetuating anti-blackness, right? Wrong. When we think like that, we tend to ignore the colorism — often subtle — that permeates through much of Latin America. It’s a difficult thing to confront, but if we don’t address it within our own community, we can’t expect it to magically resolve itself.

Pulitzer prize-winning Dominican-American author Junot Diaz once said, “White supremacy’s greatest trick is that it has convinced people that it exists always in other people, never in us.”

Don’t believe him?

Earlier this year, Carlos Hakas, the man who angrily knocked over an elotero’s cart in Los Angeles, exclaimed, “I’m not racist, I’m from Argentina!”

Credit: Imelda Reyes / Facebook

In 2015, Univision entertainment reporter Rodner Figueroa compared Michelle Obama to a cast member of “Planet of The Apes.”

When he was fired over the comments, Figueroa wrote an open letter to Michelle Obama saying he isn’t racist because he comes from a bi-racial family.

What about last year, when Black Lives Matter was marching in the streets and you heard someone (maybe it was you) say, “Latinos need to fight for our causes, like immigration reform,” completely ignoring the fact that there are black Latinos?

Credit: Scott Olson / Getty

It doesn’t just happen in the U.S. The idea that anti-blackness is only a thing perpetuated by “white Americans” is what leads a Mexican sports newspaper to make jokes like this one, literally days after a person died in Charlottesville:

Yes, Real Madrid are nicknamed “Los Blancos,” but the joke is clearly rooted in the idea that “white supremacy” is a problem “over there” in the U.S. and not in Mexico, where they released a stamp celebrating a cartoon character that is a racist stereotype.

Last year, Trilce Ortiz listed eight (out of many) ways that Latinos perpetuate anti-blackness.

8 Racist Habits Latinx Seriously Need To Drop

Right now would be a good time for us to revisit that and not just stop there, but continue to educate ourselves on how we can make sure we’re not promoting white supremacy.

H/T: Latino Rebels

READ: 8 Racist Habits Latinx Seriously Need To Drop

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Ivanka Trump Violates Ethical Standards By Posting Tacky Photo ‘Supporting’ Goya

Things That Matter

Ivanka Trump Violates Ethical Standards By Posting Tacky Photo ‘Supporting’ Goya

@ivankatrump / Twitter

Goya CEO Robert Unanue caused a big stir when he celebrated President Donald Trump. Ivanka, never one to be forgotten, took the time to post her own photo celebrating the Latino food brand after calls for a boycott.

Ivanka Trump tweeted a photo celebrating Goya and it allegedly violates ethical standards.

There has been a concerted effort from Conservatives and Republicans to uplift a Latino food brand for all the wrong reasons. After Goya CEO Robert Unanue praised President Trump, Latinos began a boycott against the brand. The protests aren’t because Unanue praised President Trump. The issue is that Unanue praised an administration that locked Latino migrant children in cages, called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, and has dehumanized the Latino community at any chance.

Those promoting Goya are trying to further dehumanize the Latino community by frivolously supporting a brand that had never been in their pantries.

Ethics organizations are calling for Ivanka to be held accountable for willfully flouting ethical standards.

“With an apparent endorsement of Goya products in her official capacity, It looks like Ivanka Trump violated the government’s misuse of public regulation, the same one Kellyanne Conway violated by endorsing Ivanka’s products,” reads a statement by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “There’s been a running theme in the Trump administration of senior officials showing a complete disregard for any and all ethics regulations. This just continues it.”

The Trump family is taking cues here and even President Trump is pushing the product against ethical standards.

According to the Department of Justice: “An employee may not use his public office for his own private gain or for that of persons or organizations with which he is associated personally. An employee’s position or title should not be used to coerce; to endorse any product, service or enterprise; or to give the appearance of governmental sanction.”

Outrage is building and people are demanding that Ivanka be held accountable.

Latinos have banded together sharing recipes and highlighting alternative companies to cut Goya out of their pantries. Even abuleas has started to share their secret recipes to let Goya know that they are totally against the statement made by the CEO.

READ: Ivanka Trump Promoted Goya’s Canned Beans And The Memes Are Good For Your Heart

ICE Is Offering A Master Class To The Public On How To Handle Weapons And Arrest Immigrants

Things That Matter

ICE Is Offering A Master Class To The Public On How To Handle Weapons And Arrest Immigrants

Gregory Bull / Getty Images

By mid-October, there could be professionally trained armies of ordinary citizens patrolling the streets looking to arrest immigrants. And they’d be doing the dirty work of ICE – which has launched a program in Chicago specifically to help train and equip the public on the skills and knowledge needed to do it effectively.

According to ICE, the program is little more than a chance to educate and enlighten the public on the challenges the agency faces on a daily basis. They claim that their work is grossly misunderstood. Yet the description of the six-week-long program literally describes familiarizing recruits with firearms and how to make targeted arrests.

Chicago’s ICE office announced a “citizen’s academy” to teach the public on how to arrest immigrants.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is launching a class for private citizens in Chicago on how to arrest undocumented immigrants.

The course, which begins on September 15 and will run one class a week for six weeks, will train non-agents in firearms, defensive training and how to make ‘targeted arrests.’ ICE plan to roll out the program to cities across the country.

The Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago Citizens Academy is a six-week program modeled after similar trainings held by other law enforcement agencies. ICE will select 10 to 12 participants for the training, which is set to start in September.

Many Chicagoans have received letters inviting them to apply. During the program, according to the letter, “participants will gain insight into the many facets and responsibilities of ICE/ERO operations, and hopefully an awareness and appreciation of the issues our officers face every day in the performance of their duties.”

But immigration activists aren’t buying the story ICE wants to tell.

Several of Chicago’s elected officials have come out strongly against the program, saying there is no room for this academy in the city of Chicago.

“I think it’s outrageous that they are trying to do this in Chicago. This is a sanctuary city that we’ve fought so hard for,” said Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez, in an interview with Fox 11.

Rodriguez read the letter and said she was concerned about the language in the letter, which reads, in part, “attendees will participate in scenario-based training and exercises conducted in a safe and positive environment, including, but not limited to defensive tactics, firearms familiarization, and targeted arrests.”

“What it sounds like to me is a vigilante academy,” Rodriguez said. “We need to be educating the community so that they don’t sign up for it. I think the city needs to speak out against this programming. This isn’t welcomed in Chicago.”

Another of Chicago’s aldermen, Jesús ‘Chuy’ García, wonders if the course is part of ICE’s plan to have neighbors spy on others to see if they’re undocumented and report back to the agency.

Although the program is outrageous, it’s been taking place in Los Angeles for years.

The program was just announced in Chicago last week but it has been in operation for several years in other cities across the country. In fact, Los Angeles – another sanctuary city – has had a similar academy in place since 2016. However, unlike Chicago’s program which will be run by the ERO, LA’s program is managed by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division.

Regardless of who is running the program, many are rightfully worried about its implications. Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network, said in a statement, “ICE is recruiting an army of ‘citizens’ to fuel its propaganda machine and forge hatred in our communities. The outcome of this program will be more terror unleashed upon immigrant communities and people of color.”